Released on November 28, 2017
Five families who immigrated from Russia and Poland to Canada in the early 1900s are being remembered with the naming of a geographic feature in Saskatchewan.
Bearing the combined names of the Odzga, Zablosky, Masurok, Nawrocki and Stocki families, Ozmans Lake can be found approximately 40 kilometres southwest of Melfort, near the former village of Yellow Creek. Residents who live near the area recount that these settlers faced many hardships in the beginning, but with hard work and determination they thrived in Saskatchewan.
“Our province’s motto is from many peoples, strength — and that is exactly what we are recognizing with the naming of this feature,” Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Gene Makowsky said. “We have a great quality of life that was, in part made possible by the strength and perseverance displayed by pioneering families like these throughout Saskatchewan’s history.”
The land homesteaded by these early settlers was often harsh and unforgiving, with heavy timber, sloughs, muskeg and stones prevalent throughout. Undeterred by these challenges, the families worked diligently to clear the lands and seed their crops. Alex Kun of Yellow Creek, with support from the Rural Municipality of Invergordon, brought forward the geographic place name nomination as a way to honour those who were the first to farm the land surrounding the lake.
“I was happy to hear the nomination was approved,” Alex said. “We have since left the farm, but wanted to leave behind a formal name for the lake.”
Joe and Natalie, children of Paul Zablosky and John Nawrocki respectively, married and still reside on one of the original homesteads.
“We are very honoured to have Ozmans Lake named after our fathers,” Natalie said. “We are also very appreciative that the lake received the name we had created for it.”
There are approximately 14,000 geographic place names in the province, including places nominated under the GeoMemorial Commemorative Naming Program and those which are nominated according to the general place naming guidelines for Saskatchewan.
To learn more about the province’s Geographic Place Names Program, including instructions on how to nominate a new place name, visit www.saskatchewan.ca/residents/parks-recreation-heritage-and-arts/heritage/propose-a-new-geographic-place-name.
For more information, contact:
Parks, Culture and Sport